As we welcome students back for the start of our 5th year at Temple Grandin School, we feel increasingly validated. Our socio-academic program is well-established, and meeting the needs of students. Our staff is fully trained, and fully invested in our mission. Our administrative systems are functioning smoothly. All of our hard work is paying off – we are truly a “real” school!
But all of the programs and systems and people are for naught if we aren’t tending to and validating our students. It’s a core value at TGS that students are truly understood and seen as multi-faceted individuals deserving of our focused attention every day. At TGS, we don’t just manage classrooms and workloads, we actively engage in listening and coaching throughout the school day. On the surface, what we do may not seem that different or difficult, but it’s a level of engagement that’s becoming rarer in schools, and society at large – as noted here by Monique Valcour in a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review.
“Consider what it feels like when you’re trying to convey something important to a person who has many things on his or her mind. Contrast that familiar experience with the more luxurious and deeply validating one of communicating with someone who is completely focused on you and actively listening to what you have to say with an open mind and an open heart.”
Listening is luxurious. It’s the language of love, and what we aspire to speak into students’ lives as we embark on this new school year. Welcome to 2015-2016, TGS!